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Real newbie question about locks


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#1 dasadler

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 02:05 AM

I intend to buy the 11 key package but how will I know which key to use in which lock? I have looked at all the locks in my house and cannot see any indication of manufacturer or the number of pins.

In researching the threads there is much talk about diffferent brands of locks and the number of pins. How does a person identify the type of lock and the number of pins in the lock? Seems like you need to know this before selecting the correct bumpkey to use.

Thanks in advance for any help. If there is a tutorial on this somewhere, I would appreciate a link.

#2 theopratr

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 06:59 PM

If there is a manufacturer stamped on the lock, you can derive the obvious ones... Kwikset locks will use a Kwikset (KW) key, Schlage locks will use an Schlage (SC) key, Arrow (AR), Yale (Y) and so on and so forth. By studying the keyway profile of each of your 11 keys, you should quickly become proficient at eyeballing it, especially considering the limited number of common keyways. Other manufacturers often simply use one of the more common keys under their own name... Defiant, Faultless, etc. all use Kwikset keys exclusively.

The number of pins is a bit more complicated than just looking. If you have a change key for the lock in question, count the cuts on the original key. This is really unnecessary, because you should be able to match up the key (if you have an original) by matching the designation. Otherwise, you can physically count the pins with simple lock-picking tools. A feeler pick does the job perfectly. If in doubt, use the more common arrangement - 5 pins for Kwikset and Schlage, 6 for BEST, etc.

Search the forums for a more complete answer than my own.

#3 lostwithoutabeat

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 07:20 PM

You could also attempt my old tried-and-true method. Try every single key until one works :P

#4 Tim

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 09:46 PM

If I met this situation I think I will try to use the key with the matching key-way. Well for that you have some idea about locks and key-ways as different locks has different key-ways.